Friday “Play On The Pitch Day”

Over the past few days Rangers have been hosting “Play On The Pitch Days”, before Ibrox is ripped up to be relaid for next season, all the academy teams get the opportunity to play at Ibrox. On Friday I took in the Under 18’s game against Motherwell in the afternoon and the Under 16’s (2007’s) clash with St.Mirren at night. Unfortunately both teams continued the theme from Thursday’s Colts game by gifting the opposition cheap goals. In between those games I watched the U12’s seven-a-side games against St.Mirren, first time I’ve seen this group so I’m unfamiliar with them.

Rangers 1 Motherwell 3

Motherwell took the lead in the opening minute, the ball was played across the box from the right, when it arrived at the back post the shot appeared to be mishit but squeezed under the body of Jack McConnell and into the net. Rangers reply came on twelve minutes from a James Graham twenty-five yarder which was straight at the keeper.

A minute later Charlie Lindsay passed to Zak McKay on the left, he cross low into the six yard box where Leyton Dunlop’s flick at the near post was just wide. There was only fourteen minutes on the clock when Rangers gifted the visitors a second goal, Kelsey Ewan lost possession inside the left side of his own penalty area and the ball was squared for the striker to shoot past Jack McConnell.

Rangers had a couple of chances in the final five minutes of the half, from a corner from the right Mackenzie Strachan’s net bound volley was cleared from the line. Next Jack Harkness cut in from the right and passed to Leyton Dunlop who moved the ball on to Zak McKay breaking into the left side of the penalty area but his shot was weak and the keeper saved comfortably.

Half-Time:- Rangers 0 Motherwell 2

The visitors had the first effort of the second half seven minutes after the break with a shot from distance that Jack McConnell dived to his right to turn wide. Less than five minutes later Rangers fell further behind, the attack came on the right and when the ball was passed inside it was fired past Jack McConnell.

With twenty-five minutes remaining Finlay Curtis challenged for Kristian Webster’s long ball and when the ball broke for him on the edge of the box his shot forced the keeper to turn the ball wide of his right hand post. Two minutes later there was a save at the other end, Motherwell breaking into the right side of the box with Jack McConnell saving the shot with his foot.

Rangers next attack saw Jamie Newton reach the left hand byline and when his cross was cleared to the edge of the box Crispin McLean’s net bound shot was deflected wide. With five minutes remaining Finlay Curtis’s header from Mackenzie Strachan’s free-kick from the right was heading inside the far post till the slightest deflection took it just wide.

Rangers subs had made a positive difference and Crispin McLean had another effort on goal after cutting in from the right but the shot was straight at the keeper. Rangers consolation goal came in injury time, Ryan Duncan attacked the left side of the penalty area, the ball broke to Jame Newton close to the byline and his centre was turned over the line by a Motherwell defender for an Own Goal.

Full-Time:- Rangers 1 Motherwell 3

Rangers:- Jack McConnell; Harley Ewan (Jamie Newton HT), Kristian Wenster, Kelsey Ewan; Jack Harkness (Zander Hutton 67 mins), Mackenzie Strachan, Charlie Lindsay (Ryan Duncan HT), Zak McKay (Crispin McLean HT); Leyton Dunlop, Jack Roberts (Finlay Curtis 60 mins), James Graham.

Not Used:- Sam Kane (Gk), Niall Rogerson.

Rangers 3 St. Mirren 4

The night time game saw Rangers 2007’s take on their St. Mirren counterparts and rather harshly losing to the odd goal in seven.

Rangers took the lead on ten minutes, Harry Weir’s pass inside the right back to release Josh Gentles inside the left side of the penalty area and he beat the keeper with a fine finish. With just over ten minutes to the break Saints were gifted an equaliser, Greig Thackray’s clearance went straight to a St.Mirren attacker who advanced into the left side of the box before shooting into the net.

Within in two minutes Rangers were back in front, Josh Gentles showed good skill cutting in from the left before passing to Chris Eadie on the edge of the box and he side stepped a defender before shooting past the keeper. Rangers came close to extending their lead when Cameron Scott advanced on the left and picked out Chris Eadie inside the box on this occasion he was denied by a stunning save from Shay Kelly who tipped over.

Two minutes before the break Jack Wylie broke from defence past two defenders and his shot from distance was just wide of the keeper’s left hand post.

Half-Time:- Rangers 2 St.Mirren 1

Rangers had the first effort of the second half from a Lyle Wark twenty-five yarder that was straight at Shay Kelly. The sides were level when a short corner was played to the left hand angle of the box, the shot came off the far post and the rebound knocked into the net.

St. Mirren the took the lead with a finely worked goal, a series of one touch passes took them through the centre of the Rangers defence and the ball was planted into the net. Rangers tried to get back on level terms and from a Harry Weir corner from the right Leo Fisher’s header was just too high.

Rangers did get back on level terms when Lyle Wark’s cross from the left found its way the the Trialist inside the right side of the penalty area and he shot across the keeper into the net. Saints then threatened with an attack into the right side of the box but the shot was straight at Colbi McQuarrie.

When the late winner came it was for St. Mirren, the attack came down the left and when the ball was played across the box it was knocked into the net by Jack Wylie while trying to clear for an own goal.

Full- Time:- Rangers 3 St. Mirren 4

Rangers Squad:- Greig Thackray (Gk), Colbi McQuarrie (Gk), Arran Kerr, Duncan Barlow, Jack Wylie, Cameron Scott, Callum Adamson, Grant Leitch, Grant Marchant, Harry Weir, Chris Eadie, Josh Gentles, Leo Fisher, Lewis Stewart, Lyle Wark, Kenzie McClelland

Footnote:- In between those games I took in Rangers U12’s seven-a-side games against St. Mirren. Played across the pitch both teams have two squads and they play both squads from their opponents making four games. Rangers won three games 5-0, 8-1 and 7-2 with the other game finishing a 3-3 draw.

First time seeing this squad and there are a few promising players but didn’t have a squad list so didn’t know who they were. A couple of St. Mirren players also caught the eye.

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